This newsletter appears at a strange time in our lives, in the midst of staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on anecdotal evidence it seems that many of us are, to say the least, disoriented by the sweeping changes in our daily family and work lives—but managing nonetheless. What will happen next is anyone’s guess, but even in the midst of the pandemic, work in Sociology continues.
During the last week of March, the Department interviewed six tenure track job candidates and four candidates for the Department’s new clinical assistant professor position. To say that the week was a whirlwind would be an understatement. Faculty and teaching assistants transitioned their classes from face-to-face to online; graduate students switched from learning in the classroom to learning remotely; and most undergraduate students finished up their spring courses from the safety of home. Not only have the department’s staff (Maribeth, Kelly and Susie) continued to do their jobs remotely, but they helped with the job candidate visits and so much more as we have all dealt with the workplace disruptions that the pandemic has imposed. I would like to extend a sincere thanks to everyone for the considerable amount of unexpected work over the last couple of months.
UB Sociology’s trajectory is strong. While Gregory Sharp and Kevin Smiley will continue their careers as assistant professors in new departments come fall (Faculty News), the Department is gaining four talented new faculty including Yige Dong, Sarah Ford, Iris Lu, and Joanna Pepin (Faculty News). As you’ll read from Kristen Schultz Lee, the Department’s undergraduate programs are growing, especially the new major in Criminology; Mary Nell Trautner tells about exciting changes in the graduate programs; and Debi Street provides an update about the Department’s international programs.
I hope that you and your family are doing as well as can be expected during these uncertain times.